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August 28, 2008
Chapman Notified of Sharpton’s Visit

MONTGOMERY- Secretary of State Beth Chapman says she has received information that Reverend Al Sharpton will come to Alabama with a bus of civil rights activists to register voters for the November elections and to ensure that those who think they are registered really are. Chapman says she will welcome anyone who would like to encourage voter participation and register Alabama citizens who meet the legal requirements for voter registration. In order to discourage those who would violate elections laws, Chapman has asked that the U.S. Department of Justice send the largest number of elections observers and election attorneys possible into the state.

 

“If Rev. Sharpton visits, he will be treated with the same professional courtesy as anyone else. However, he is not an Alabamian so he will be treated as a visitor and, of course, the law does not allow him to act in any official capacity with regard to Alabama’s elections,” Chapman said.

 

A recent Associated Press story reported that Sharpton is targeting Alabama as one of six states that he and a bus of civil rights activists will visit to register voters and ensure those who think they are registered actually are.  The name of his campaign is the “Not this Time” Campaign.

 

Chapman says she encourages every U.S. citizen who is a legal resident of Alabama and meets legal requirements to register and vote. “When it comes to voter fraud or voter intimidation, my position is, ‘Not any time, not anyone, not anywhere, not any reason’,” Chapman said.

 

The Associated Press article reports that Sharpton organized the campaign because of widespread complaints of voter obstruction and voter manipulation.  Chapman says she looks forward to open dialogue regarding those complaints as well as the recent high numbers of complaints she and her staff have received regarding those allegedly stealing and selling absentee ballots, bartering with votes for favors, voter intimidation and other forms of voter fraud. Chapman said, “There are multiple complaints of voter fraud and intimidation in our state and we are going to deal with all of them in a way that will ensure fair and honest elections in Alabama.”

 

Chapman has predicted that November’s Presidential Election will produce the largest number of voters in the state’s history. “We are seeing an exceptionally large number of people registering to vote and applying for absentee ballots, as well.”

 

Chapman has championed the fight for fair and honest elections in Alabama and has led the effort to stop voter fraud in Alabama.  “Dead people cannot vote and those living can only vote once,” is Chapman’s motto.

 

After the Primary Election, Chapman created a Voter Fraud Unit in her office. They developed a special hotline and website and have received numerous reports of voter fraud across the state, which have led to the Attorney General’s review of the matters.

 

The toll-fee hotline is 1-800-274-VOTE and the website is www.stopvoterfraudnow.com.

 

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For more information, visit Secretary of State Jim Bennett’s Web Site:  http://www.sos.alabama.gov/